Your brain prefers paper

With large strides in the advance of smartphones, tablets and computers, it’s smart to ask ourselves how technology is changing the way we think. Are we losing comprehension skills or necessary brain functions as a result of digital and technological tools?

Studies over the past two decades indicate that people seem to understand and remember text on paper better than text read from a screen. However, as screen resolution improves are these arguments still valid? Recent findings indicate that your brain still prefers paper.

Studies, polls and laboratory experiments show that screens prevent people from intuitive navigation and mental mapping of longer texts. Apparently, the human brain prefers to view a text in its entirety, comprehending the entire physical landscape in order to construct a complete mental map. Screens have also proven to be more cognitively demanding, draining the reader’s mental resources and interfering with memory faster than reading off paper might.

While these studies provide support for print, ignoring the digital age and revolution is not only impossible, but downright silly. It’s time to integrate the best of print and paper with the best of digital.

We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again [link to old blog article on digital and print integration], the ideal marketing mix contains both print and digital. The same goes for how we deliver knowledge in the education field. Undoubtedly tablets and computers offer efficient and effective methods for consuming knowledge, but understanding when to teach or reach your target audience will help you determine which medium is the best.

For lasting impressions, paper and print are likely to do the job more effectively. If you’re looking for the wow factor, digital may be the way to go. Whatever your charge, whether it’s education, marketing or creative communication, remember that in many situations, your brain still prefers print.

For a more in-depth article about why paper still beats screens, click here.

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